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Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an order Wednesday requiring everyone to wear masks indoors in public places, as the city is experiencing “substantial” COVID-19 transmission.
“Public health experts overwhelmingly agree, and data has proved, that wearing a face covering helps slow the spread of this deadly virus,” Bottoms said in a statement. “As COVID-19 rates increase, we must remain vigilant, wear a mask, follow CDC guidelines and other measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our communities.”
The order includes exceptions while eating and drinking and for children under the age of 10, among others. It does not say those who have been vaccinated are exempt.
Those who continue to fail to comply after an initial warning could face up to a $50 civil penalty, according to the order.
The city’s order comes as Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp took to Twitter Wednesday to say he won’t issue a statewide mask mandate and urged people to “get vaccinated as quickly as possible.” Just over 45% of Georgia residents ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Last year, Kemp, a Republican, filed a lawsuit against Bottoms, a Democrat, for requiring face coverings and other pandemic measures that were more restrictive than his own executive orders. The lawsuit was eventually dropped.